Clark Madness tension rises


Nairi Simonian

Gonzaga and Michigan play with intense focus on the March 3 semifinal game.

As Clark Madness soon comes to a close between Kansas (sophomores Vahe Farhadnejad, Andre Keshishian, Erik Khddaverdian and Harut Malkon) and Wichita State (juniors Andrew Aslanian, William Jacob, Derek Petrosian and Harout Sardaryan), the suspense is high.

On March 3, teams North Carolina (freshmen Edgar Habalrih, Michael Horton, John Lising and Benjamin Satzman) and Kansas played a three-on-three game and teams Gonzaga (freshmen Eduard Bashnakyan, Leon Chilingaryan, Eduardo Ducusin, Alec Danielians, Arman Hakobyan and Gurgen Kazaryan) and Michigan (juniors Aroutin Arakelian, Emanuel Diarbekirian, Arpier Haritoonian, Matthew Mnasians, Avedis Terezian and Mehr Gharapetian-Vartanian) played a five-on-five game to begin to determine who will play in the championship games.

P.E. teacher and intramural sports organizer Judy Thomsen created a unique system of double elimination for this year’s games.

“We didn’t have many teams, so we came up with this method to prolong the games,” Thomsen said. “It also gives the teams more chances because they need two losses to be out of the running.”

It also gives the teams more chances because they need two losses to be out of the running.

— Judy Thomsen

There were also more opportunities to play after a group of students asked Thomsen to organize five-on-five games.

“It initially started out as three-on-three, but they came up to me and asked, so I said ‘why not,’” said Thomsen.

After surviving the gruelling rounds, North Carolina went up against Kansas for the three-on-three game of March 3, with teacher Conrad Pruitt as the referee.

The game was intense with clearly thought-out plays, even if they were executed a little roughly. More spectators seemed to be interested in this game than its five-on-five counterpart on the other side of the court.

Meanwhile, Thomsen refereed the five-on-five game between Gonzaga and Michigan. This side seemed to have more experience players who were not afraid to play rough.

All the teams performed very well, but Kansas won 12–4 and Michigan won 14–7.

Despite the loss, Chilingaryan said, “We came far as a team. We’ve tried hard to stay on top, but it’s a hard game to play.”

On March 4, Wichita State won against North Carolina to move on to the championships against Kansas. Because Wichita State is composed of more experienced players, they seem to be the more likely contenders.

Simultaneously, Kentucky (juniors Roman Hacopian, Arin Hayrapetyan, Sevada Safaryan, Christopher Satoorian, David Yaghootian and Gor Zalyan) was crowned the champion in the final round against Michigan in the five-on-five division.